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Avalanche crews on Snoqualmie Pass assess slopes overnight after a natural snowslide

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Date:  Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Contact: Summer Derrey, WSDOT communications, 509-969-7784
Mike Westbay, WSDOT communications, 509-728-4712

HYAK – Avalanche crews are monitoring the slopes above Interstate 90 over Snoqualmie Pass tonight after a natural snowslide covered part of the eastbound right  lane and shoulder one mile west of the summit (milepost 51), just after 3:30 p.m. this afternoon. Shortly after the slide, a black Honda Accord drove up onto the debris, which was about a foot deep.

The Washington State Department of Transportation removed the vehicle from the snow. The driver and two passengers were not injured and were able to get back in the car and drive away. Crews closed the eastbound lanes to remove the remaining snow.

“It has snowed about 5 inches since the last avalanche-control work in the area, which was last night,” said John Stimberis, WSDOT avalanche specialist. “This amount of snow is under the normal threshold of requiring more control work.”

If it continues to snow heavily tonight, WSDOT will do more control work. However, this depends on the intensity of the snowfall, wind speed and temperature.

Crews will continue to monitor and evaluate the avalanche risk.

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